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J.K. Rowling on ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

 

In a new interview with The Guardian J.K. Rowling, along with director John Tiffany and playwright Jack Thorne, discusses the upcoming Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play. Even the interviewer admits that we don’t learn much new information on the play, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t valuable information in the interview:

Even in this, the only interview Rowling, Tiffany or Thorne will give before the show opens, a voluntary vow of silence about the plot is observed. “The epilogue of the seventh book is a very clear pointer as to where I was interested in going,” Rowling offers, slowly. “It’s very obvious from that epilogue that the character I was most interested in was Albus Severus Potter. And you see Scorpius on that platform.” She sits back, smiling, Sphinx-like.

Most of the interview details the friendship that has formed between Rowling, Thorne and Tiffany since beginning work on the play as well as how they all met. Rowling also points out that Thorne is the main writer for the script of the play:

“From the moment he produced the first outline, I thought bingo, that’s it.” Did she never imagine writing the play herself? After all, her other major project this year is her debut screenplay for the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, telling of the adventures of Newt Scamander in 1920s New York, decades before Harry Potter reads his book at school.

“I am not so arrogant that I think when you’ve got an absolutely top-class playwright offering to do it that I’m going to say, ‘Well, I’ve never done it before but I’ll do it.’ It’s a question of knowing the limits of your own competence. I was reasonably involved in the Potter scripts. I’m more familiar with that world. I felt a degree of confidence writing a screenplay but I had supreme confidence that Jack was going to write the play that I was going to love and he has. So you can’t ask fairer than that.”

[…]

“It is a totally new language to me,” she says. “So watching Jack and what he can do on the page and his understanding on what will then translate on to stage has been such a revelation to me. I know novels and I know movies but this is a different world entirely. Jack has access to a paintbox that I don’t have because I don’t understand the medium.”

Rowling also discusses how she has never really left Potter in her own mind and if she’ll continue working in that world:

“It was 17 years and just because I’ve stopped on the page doesn’t mean my imagination stopped,” she says. “It’s like running a very long race. You can’t just stop dead at the finishing line. I had some material and some ideas and themes, and we three [she nods at Tiffany and Thorne] made a story.”

It has been almost a decade since she put pen to paper for the final book in the sequence. “But I carry that world around in my head all the time,” she acknowledges. “I am never going to hate that world. I love that world. But there are other worlds I want to live in too. To be perfectly honest, I just feel if I enjoy it, I’ll do it – and if I don’t, I won’t.”

In fact, with the play and the screenplay, 2016 has turned out to be what she describes as “such a wizardy year”. “I always said never say never, and the reason I said that was truthfully that I did have this residue in my head in both directions – in Fantastic Beasts…, which is going back, and in this play, which is going forwards. So I still had this material in my head.

“It’s been amazing because there are roots over there and shoots over here, so it is keeping it very consistent and doing it all at the same time. We are sharing a lot between the worlds.”

They also discuss the backlash from casting a non-white actress to play Hermione.

“With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to idiot,” she says. “But what can you say? That’s the way the world is. Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job. When John told me he’d cast her, I said, ‘Oh, that’s fabulous’ because I’d seen her in a workshop and she was fabulous.”

Unknown to Tiffany, when he made his casting call, there had in fact been a “black Hermione” theory around in Potterworld for years. Yet the strength of reaction surprised him. “I am not as Twitter familiar as Jo and Jack, so I hadn’t encountered its dark side, which is just awful,” he says. “The anonymity breeds horrors so after a while I stopped reading it. But what shocked me was the way people couldn’t visualise a non-white person as the hero of a story. It’s therefore brilliant that this has happened.”

Rowling agrees. She says there was always the possibility of Hermione being black in the way she was described; skin colour was never mentioned.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child begins previews this coming week and opens on July 30th. Tickets to the play may be purchased on the play’s website.

First Look at Draco and Scorpius Malfoy

Continuing with their promotional photo releases, the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Facebook released photos of Draco Malfoy (Alex Price) and his son Scorpius (Anthony Boyle).

The photos can be seen in the gallery and their captions are below:

Scorpius Malfoy (Anthony Boyle) from the new play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. J.K. Rowling: “I’ve got a feeling Scorpius is going to do nothing to turn girls off the Malfoy men…”

Draco Malfoy (Alex Price) from the new play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. J.K. Rowling: “I love Draco and Scorpius – they actually look related.”

Click to view full size image

First Look at Granger-Weasley Family in ‘Cursed Child’

The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Facebook has released a first look at the Granger-Weasley family! Ron is played by Paul Thornley, Noma Dumezweni plays Hermione and Cherrelle Skeete plays Rose Granger-Weasley.

Click to view full size image

Captions for the photos, which can be seen in the gallery, are as follows:

Hermione Granger, played by Noma Dumezweni in the new play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. J.K. Rowling: “I saw Noma workshop the part and when John Tiffany told me he’d cast her, I was overjoyed. She gets Hermione inside out.”

Ron Weasley, in his favourite knitted jumper. As played by Paul Thornley in the new play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. J.K. Rowling: “Ron in his forties isn’t very different from Ron in his teens, except that his feet hurt a bit more. Paul’s so funny and brilliant in the role.”

Rose Granger-Weasley, excited to start at Hogwarts. Played by Cherrelle Skeete in the new play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. J.K. Rowling: “Rose is like her mother, but more secure, more grounded. She was born to wizards and knows her place in the world. Cherrelle plays her perfectly: bossy but deeply loveable.”

First Photos of Potter Family in ‘Cursed Child’ Released

The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Facebook has released the first photos of the Potter family! Harry played by Jamie Parker, Poppy Miller as Ginny and Sam Clemmett as Albus Severus Potter.

Click to view full size image
Captions for the photos, which can be seen in the gallery, are as follows:

Harry Potter, 19 years later. Jamie Parker from the new play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. J.K. Rowling: “He simply is Harry now. There’s a kind of relief in watching him, he gets it so right.” First public preview is a week today!

Albus Potter, ready for his first day at Hogwarts. Played by Sam Clemmett in the new play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. J.K. Rowling: “There’s much I could say about Sam-as-Albus, but we’d be into spoiler territory so quickly I’ll just say we couldn’t have cast better.”

Ginny Potter played by Poppy Miller, in the new play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child. J.K. Rowling: “I think a lot of people would like to have Poppy’s Ginny for a mother. Kind and cool, exactly as I imagined her.”

Videos: Tom Felton and James & Oliver Phelps at MegaCon

Thanks to Nerds & Beyond we have some footage of Tom Felton, James Phelps and Oliver Phelps at this year’s MegaCon in Orlando.

Our friends Betsy and Lori from Feltbeats also had the chance to interview Tom Felton at the event.

Teaser Trailer for Emma Watson’s Beauty and the Beast
Filed Under Emma Watson

The first trailer for the live action version of Beauty and the Beast has been released by Disney this morning. The film, which stars Emma Watson as Belle, will be released on March 17 2017.

Beauty and the Beast also stars Dan Stevens as Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Kevin Kline as Maurice, Josh Gad as Le Fou, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Stanley Tucci as Cadenza, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, Audra McDonald as Garderobe, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts.

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